Summer of Discoveries: Spotlight on Cathedral Tour Guides

Posted
21st Jun 2024
News category
Blog

Welcome to the first instalment in our Tales From The Tour Guide spotlight series, where we celebrate the exceptional volunteer tour guides at Chichester Cathedral. 

These dedicated individuals are the heart and soul of our tours, bringing to life the fascinating tales held within the ancient walls and grounds of the Cathedral. Here, we focus on Anne Scicluna, whose deep love for Chichester’s heritage and art enriches her tours and captivates those who join her.


Anne Scicluna: A steward of art, heritage and community

Anne Scicluna’s passion for her city's history, art and community knows no bounds. From her tenure as Mayor of Chichester not once but three times to her current role as a volunteer guide at our Cathedral, as well as separately providing city tours and guided walks of the Roman walls, Anne is committed to preserving, sharing and celebrating the Cathedral’s and our city's rich heritage.

A connoisseur of art

Anne's passion for art is palpable, rooted in her experiences as a trustee of Pallant House Gallery and her encounters with renowned artists. She recounts the privilege of attending the 100th birthday celebration of artist Hans Feibusch, who sadly passed away just days after the celebration. Feibusch, a German Jewish refugee who fled Nazi persecution in the 1930s, is credited with reviving the art of mural painting. Thanks to the patronage of Bishop George Bell, the Cathedral boasts three of Feibusch's stunning mural paintings depicting key moments in the life of Jesus.

Anne's expertise also extends to the work of Ursula Benker-Schirmer. She fondly recalls visiting Benker-Schirmer's studio, where the beautiful Anglo-German tapestry now residing in the Cathedral was conceived and designed. Anne marvelled at how such an incredible work of art emerged from such a small studio space. These experiences inform Anne's tours, making them not just educational but transformative. Visitors are immersed in the beauty and significance of Chichester's art scene, guided by Anne's appreciation and knowledge of the Cathedral's many artistic treasures.

Unveiling hidden gems

Anne's tours are filled with moments of revelation, delighting in pointing out the overlooked and the unexpected whilst inviting visitors to appreciate the skill and creativity of the artists who created them. From the 900-year-old Norman reliefs depicting the Raising of Lazarus to the intricate carvings in the Cathedral's cloisters, Anne brings history to life with vivid detail and passion. She encourages visitors to reflect on the pieces and the artists who created them, marvelling at how their work continues to be enjoyed hundreds of years later. Through her knowledge and enthusiasm, Anne offers a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Cathedral's rich artistic heritage.

A proud volunteer

For Anne, volunteering is more than just a pastime; it's a lifeline that keeps her spirit alive and her mind engaged. She revels in the comments of visitors who find solace and comfort within the Cathedral's welcoming embrace, even the dogs who join their owners on their explorations. Anne's love for her city is infectious, and her dedication to sharing its treasures knows no limits.

A warm welcome for all

Anne's love for Chichester Cathedral extends to her own family, including her grandchildren, who affectionately referred to the Cathedral as the "thedral." It's a testament to the warm and welcoming atmosphere that Anne and her fellow volunteers cultivate within its walls. For Anne, the Cathedral is more than just a building, it's a sanctuary for the soul, where all are invited to find peace and inspiration.


Anne Scicluna is just one of the many dedicated volunteer guides here at our Cathedral. Their captivating tours can be tailored to specific areas of interest. We invite you to experience their passion and knowledge first-hand.

Posted
21st Jun 2024
News category
Blog